This special double issue of TOPIA: Canadian /journal of Cultural Studies addresses the ubiquity of militarization as a presence that is woven into the very fabric of civic culture.
Drawing on a rich array of research sites and interdisciplinary resources, the authors collected in this volume explore how human relations, social policies and cultural values come to be defined by military interests, and how such interest might be freshly understood. Their timely work suggestions that militarism is now central to an emergent global master narrative in which military diction is inseparable from the languages of power, sweeping aside human suffering into our senses. Such effects can be found in our public rituals, private entertainments, cultural institutions, geographical categories and common attitudes. To talk about cultures of militarization is to talk about the terms in which collective identity is militarized and resistive forms for agency and affect allowed and disallowed.
Cultures of Militarization, edited by Jody Berland (York University) and Blake Fitzpatrick (Ryerson University), is a broad discussion by interpersonal scholars whose work investigates the processes through which military presence is normalized or critiqued in private, public and national narratives. Their exploration of the relationship between militarism and civic culture pushes us beyond a static binary to reveal how complex and dynamic this relationship has become.
The collection is not a move to summarize militarism into a finite set of conceptual terms, but rather offers evidence of the tangential, broad, insidious and revealed presence of militarization throughout contemporary culture.